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Wednesday February 1, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

Skiing Secrets may or may not have something to do with skiing.

Often it doesn't - we fill it with anything that takes our fancy.

See here for a flavour of what it is all about from last month's ramble.

Sunday 26th February

Camels enjoying the snow... ooh and otters too!

Camels are usually associated with sand and deserts, so it's quite unusual to see them rolling in the snow and bounding around in the white stuff.

These camels are playing in the snow in eastern Turkey where there has been some deep snow levels this winter.

Camel rolling in snow in TurkeyCamel rolling in snow in Turkey














And otters love the snow too.

This one was caught sliding in Yellowstone National Park.


Saturday 25th February

Camera cable snapped by Swiss Jet at St Moritz

One of the Swiss jets flying in the St Moritz air display at the Alpine Ski World Championships earlier this month event caused some consternation.

As the Patrouille Suisse performed its low stunt in a high octane dramatic fly over, one of the jets snapped a camera cable, sending one of the cameras flying to the ground in the spectators finish arena.

Fortunately no one was hurt, but part of the event was captured on camera.

Patrouille Suisse in action - St MoritzPatrouille Suisse in action - St Moritz - February 2017


















The Swiss air force aerobatics team called the Patrouille Suisse use F-5E Tiger jets to entertain and to impress the crowds at significant sporting events.

They're the Swiss equivalent to the Red Arrows, though arguably they are more dramatic as they have the mountains as a backdrop.



Removing the damaged cameraRemoving the damaged camera















Friday 24th February

Is this the world's worst cross-country skier?

The French seem to think so.

Adrian Solano from Venezuela was refused entry to France last month while on his way to a training camp in Sweden, according to the BBC.

Solano said border agents doubted he was a skier and asked if there was any snow in his country.

If there is, it appears he had never seen any.

He apparently did all his training on wheels, so when he came to compete in the qualifying round of the Nordic World Championships under way in Lahti, Finland, he found the snow a little tricky.

That is, perhaps, an understatement.

So, is he the world's worst?

We'll let you decide.

The BBC reports that Venezuela is to deliver a strong protest to France over the affront to one of its athletes. 

Wednesday 22nd February

Kilted Yoga is hot! 

Some of our staff were getting somewhat excited over these Highlanders doing yoga in this video!

So the question about underwear......  Is it true?


(We shared this on 22nd February and at that time it had 32,662,819+ and counting!)

Tuesday 21st February

Snowboarder dug out of deep snow on piste

Here's some rather scary go-pro footage of a buried snowboarder being dug out of deep snow, and he was snowboarding on piste!

According to the Mirror ( the young snowboarder lost his balance while taking off and landed heavily burying his head and most of his body in the snow.

Luckily there was a group of skiers and snowboarders close by to dig him out of the snow.

Snowboarder rescued!Snowboarder rescued!















Snow in Oz

It's might still be summer in Australia - with some parts suffering an stifling heatwave -  but the first snow of the year has arrived in the ski resorts of Victoria.

On Sunday Perisher announced "Summer is cancelled. Snow has arrived early across the resort".

















Over in Thredbo they called the overnight dusting of snow a "little summer surprise".

Thredbo Feb 2017Summer in Thredbo? - photo Thredbo Twitter

































Don't get too excited if you're Down Under.  It won't last.

Monday 20th February

Federer takes Grand Slam Trophy to Swiss Mountain Top 

The superstar Swiss tennis player Roger Federer has taken his most recent - and 18th - Grand Slam trophy to the top of a mountain.


Apparently, he's always wanted to do it.

The trophy is from his victory at the Australian Open last month.

Australian Open trophyAustralian Open trophy - photo Roger Federer Twitter
















Federer was at the Alpine World Ski Championships in St Moritz last week to show his support for the Swiss team.

He also has a home in the Alps, near the ski resort of Lenzerheide so he obviously feels comfortable in snowy surroundings.

Roger Federer with Australian Open trophyOn top of the world - photo Roger Federer Twitter
















But he doesn't ski. He told a reporter that he's too afraid of getting injured, and putting those heavy boots on would be difficult.

We're not sure tennis in the snow is that easy, either.

Roger FedererWinter sport? - photo Roger Federer Twitter





















Maybe when the great man retires he'll take up skiing. 

We bet he'd be good at it.

Sunday 19th February

We love Woodsy...

When asked, "Who's the better freestyle skier"? There is not one second of hesitation.



Saturday 18th February

Oxygen bar!

Now, here’s an apres ski  bar with a difference.

It doesn’t serve neat alcohol but offers pure oxygen instead.

Its the sort of bar you find in Breckenridge, Colorado.

O2 Bar - BreckenridgeOxygen on tap in Breckenridge
















The reason is that Breckenridge is above 3,000m and the air is thin.

If you come come up to this altitude straight from sea level it can be a problem - you can have headaches, lack of energy, claustrophobia and difficulty in breathing.

Sometimes all that is needed to alleviate the symptoms is some time in an Oxygen bar.

Oxygen is offered in some hotels, but if not, then you can find an an oxygen bar just off Main Street.

Our Editor has been skiing in Breckenridge and supplied us with this photo.

He is on a road trip visiting a number of ski areas in Colorado.

Read more here on his #UltimateRoadTrip.

Thursday 16th February

George is 99.5 years old and he is a 'powder hound':

Happiness with George Jedenoff is all about skiing.

George Jedenoff is just short of 100 years old and he's still a keen and active skier.

He is back at Alta and Snowbird in Utah for his 57th consecutive year.

He was 43 when he took up the sport in 1960 and has returned to Utah every year since then.

George reflects on the happiness skiing has given him throughout his life.

He still skis powder in both snowy and fine weather and as the video below proves, even at his age he is a powder hound.

He says, "You have to love it whatever kind of weather or you're not a real skier"

"Powder makes you happy and you really need to go for it", he says.

When asked what is his best trait? He replies, "I never give up".

And his worst? He replies with a chuckle, "I never give up".

He's one impressive guy, and we hope he has many more skiing occasions ahead of him.

George Jedenoff - ready for skiingGeorge Jedenoff - ready for skiing














George Jedenoff - powder houndGeorge Jedenoff - 99.5 year old powder hound













Wednesday 15th February

Is it real?

French pro skier Candide Thovex is famous for his freestyle skiing and for his creative filming of it.

Viewed by millions, his videos invariably make people wonder 'Can it be real?'

In 2015 he shot a video for an Audi commercial where he skies in a ski resort during summer across grass fields and cow pastures, along roads, through tunnels and in the woods, doing obscure or hidden jumps as well as launching over a tractor unnoticed.

The stunts have sparked questions everywhere on social media about their authenticity.

'Of course it's real. It's Candide Thovex' read most, but the audacity and extreme level of the skiing is unbelievable.

It is the final and very precisely aimed jump into the boot of an Audi Quattro that draws most consternation...

Well here is a video to help us out; The making of the advert...

And if you missed it, here is the end product.

Tuesday 14th February

The Queen on Skis!

Her Majesty may be 90 but she's a demon on skis.

She's just appeared in a video - along with a couple of guardsmen in full bearskin helmets - on the slopes of Les Arcs in France.

She's pretty good in the park too.

Les Arcs video stillHer Majesty in the park













OK, it's not really her.

The video is a teaser for the Great British Celebration which will take place in Les Arcs from 27th to 30th March and, as well as the "Queen",  it features Britain's most famous fictional spy.

The event will celebrate British culture and the whole resort will be decked out in British colours, from the railway station in Bourg Saint Maurice to the summit of the Aiguille Rouge at 3226 metres.

Among the activities will be an Anglo-French sledge contest and a France v GB ski race.

More information is on

Loving the romance in La Plagne

Cool spot - La Plagne (pic: N Kingdon)Cool spot - La Plagne (pic: N Kingdon)



















Monday 13th February

LOVE is in the air in Loveland ... on the slopes & in the Post Room

Here's one especially for Valentine's Day tomorrow.

Loveland in Colorado is in the mood for 'love'.

In fact love is BIG business for Loveland.

There's a post room frenzy for 'love' cards, there's speed dating on the ski slopes, and mountain-top wedding ceremonies.

If it's love you're after, Loveland, it seems, is the place to be.

For two weeks every year, Loveland volunteers stamp and redecorate hundreds and thousands of letters from all corners of the world so that lovers can present the objects of their desires with letters postmarked from the land of love.

It's a business that has been going for some 70 years, when keen philatelist and postmaster, Mr Ivers, began re-addressing all mail "From The Sweetheart City." Read more on Love-in-a postroom.

But there's more.. how about speed dating on the ski slopes, with the chance of a chairlift-chat-up?

You only need to endure the chat-up for the 5 minute duration of the chairlift ride.

The speed dating took place on Saturday, so it's too late for this year.

And indeed, if your chat-up line is sparky enough and you happen to hit it off, you can get married on the Loveland Ski slopes on Valentine's Day.

It's official you can really do it and you get a free 2-for-1 special lift pass.

Participating couples must pre-register online in order to receive the Marry Me Ski for Free 2-for-1 lift ticket special.

It may not be too late - Register here

Not too late - this could be youNot too late - this could be you














Russian Firefighters compete in Race on Ice

For regular readers of #SkiingSecrets you know we like firemen!

But this fireman's festival is probably one of the stranger festivals we've spotted.

Firefighters in Moscow take part in a state health festival on Sunday competing at a rally race on ice.

Friday 10th February

For all you speed-freaks out there..... this biker went down a mountain at 167kph!

42 year-old Max Stöckl was aiming to beat his own speed world record for cycling down a gravel-based mountain on a production mountain bike.

His current record was set back in 2011 when he bombed down the volcanic cone of Cerro Negro in Nicaragua at 164.95kph.

And he beat it.

That actual run clocked up a speed of 167.6kph thus beating his previous record.

It took Max 11 seconds and 650m to reach his top speed.

Not bad for someone who isn't considered a professional athlete.

Austrian, Max Stöckl and his six-man support team identified Chile’s Atacama Desert on the country’s Pacific Coast.

They chose a mountain slope in the desert that had a summit of 3,972m altitude, a 45-degree slope at the start area and a run-off that was 1200m from top to bottom.

Moreover, the kit that Max is wearing looks remarkably like the kit that Speed Skiers wear, right down to the shape of the helmet and the accentuated aerodynamic fins on the back of his legs!

Get the full details on Max's feat on Red Bull here, in the meantime watch the videos below.

And here's another angle from his GoPro.

In this one Max sounds very much like Darth Vader of Star Wars as he breathes heavily in his Red Bull helmet.

But Darth Vader, aka Max Stöck, also attempts his speed biking feats on snow, after all he is Austrian, so why wouldn't he.

However it appears he's faster and more in control on gravel than snow!

Watch some snow his action below.

(Photos and videos: Redbull)

Thursday 9th February

In case you didn't know! 

This is how you measure snow according to US National Weather Services in Boston.

To quote them from social media, "At home, measuring the snow? Make sure you are following these guidelines."

In case it's difficult to read the instructions on the image below, this is what they suggest.

1. Supplies: ruler or yardstick, 24 x 24 white board, flag.

2. Planning: Find an open area away from tall objects, but sheltered from wind.

3. Set-up: Set up before snow begins. Put your board out and mark with a flag.

4. Measuring snow: measure once daily at the same time. After measuring place the board on top of the snow. Record the total to the nearest 1/10th of an inch.

5. When the snow stops: measure as soon as the snow stops to avoid lower totals due to melting, settling and drifting.

6. Reporting: Send us your report.

Follow these instructions πŸ“πŸ“Follow these instructions πŸ“πŸ“












So now you know 😎

Wednesday 8th February

Air Canada loses GB athletes snowboards

So is Air Canada conspiring to sabotage our GB snowboarders attempts to qualify for the Olympics?

One might begin to think so.

Both Jamie Nicholls and Aimee Fuller lose their snowboards.

When the flight lands they are not able to collect their snowboards and so cannot start training in Quebec, Canada.

Aimee FullerAimee Fuller




















Aimee is now reunited with her snowboard but tut, tut, tut Air Canada, poor show.

President Trump frozen in ice

The Sapporo Snow Festival in Japan is in its 68th year but it likes to show it's keeping up with the times.

This year there's a giant ice sculpture of US President Donald Trump.

He looks as if he's shouting and it's not clear to us what he's doing with his hands.

Trump ice sculptureTrump in ice













The festival, which takes place in February every year, began in 1950 when local school students exhibited six snow sculptures at Odori Park.

It's now a major winter attraction with 2 million visitors from all over Japan and abroad.

Tuesday 7th February

Moritz the mountain ibex helps launch Alpine World Ski Championships

Opening ceremonies for major sporting events quite often have a rather kitsch style and are, in our opinion, sometimes incomprehensible.

The event to mark the start of the 2017 Alpine World Ski Championships in St Moritz, Switzerland last night was rather shorter than most.

And this is even shorter.

It's a mini-compilation published on the International Ski Federation website (FIS) to give you a taste of what it was like to be there.

PlanetSKI met the championships' mascot - Moritz, the mountain ibex who makes an appearance in the video  - while skiing in St Moritz in December.

Moritz, World Alpine Ski Champs mascotMeeting Moritz
















The competition seemed a long way away then, but now it's here and we can't wait for the action to get going.  The championships run until 19th February.

Read our latest interview with GB medal hope Dave Ryding here.

Meanwhile as our Chief Reporter interacts with Moritz the Ibex, the champs are training on the ski slopes - see below... watch them fly!

We can't wait.

Monday 6th February

Complementary currencies are a growing phenomenon in Switzerland

The Swiss ski resort of Les Diablerets launched its own temporary currency in December 2016 in order to boost the local economy and to finance a new cable car, which residents say is essential for the area's future.

Fifty-thousand coins have been released into local circulation in the ski resort of Les Diablerets, each engraved with an image of the existing cable car's gondola-style cabins.

The currency has been named the Isenau, after the ski area above the village that is reached by the old lift.

Isenau coins are each worth CHF10 (around £8.00) and have been circulating in the local economy since December 2016.

Moreover the Valais region is also introducing new banknotes.

They are expecting to introduce the Farinet Banknotes in April 2017.

Around 80,000 bills will be put in circulation to encourage the development of the local economy and around 100 businesses, from cafes and architects to taxi firms and grocers, have already agreed to accept the currency.

Notes with the following values will be in circulation 1, 2, 5, 10, 13, 20, 50 and100 Farinets.

Originally the ‘Farinet’ was introduced in Sion in the canton of Valais to support the bid for the 2006 Winter Olympic Games.

More information on the new Farinet banknotes and the Isenau coins here.

Another local currency called The Léman, was launched in Geneva in 2015 more information in The Local.

A Farinet banknoteA Farinet banknote













Some get-fit exercises are a little OTT!

Especially this one we found on Henrik Kristoffersen's Instagram page! 

He's a Norwegian Alpine Ski Athlete. Audi FIS SL overall winner 2016.

Youngest male Olympic Medal winner in alpine skiing history.

It makes us feel exhausted.



Sunday 5th February

The Swiss want to be second too:

You may well have seen the spoof video of the Dutch asking President Trump to put Holland second.... well the Swiss want to be second too ;-)

Saturday 4th February

PlanetSKI reporter Catherine Cooper is currently the the resort of Peyragudes in the French Pyrenees and it looks like this:

Peyragudes, French PyreneesPeyragudes, French Pyrenees
















So far so good.

Only trouble is that the wind is blowing.

And we mean blowing.

It's so strong that none of the lifts was able to run.

Fortunately the area has two other major attractions (gastronomy and spas) so she went to sample them instead.

Yum, yumYum, yum




















Relax, relax...Relax, relax...














We will be hearing more from Catherine later - in the meantime here is what you can do in Peyragudes when the resort is open.

It is a blog from our content editor, James Cove, as he skied 5 resorts in 5 days in the French Pyrenees

Friday 3rd February

Natural luge tracks in Romania:

We seem to be on a sliding theme at the moment with sleds and now the luge.

This is a natural luge track.

Its a road in Vatra Dornei, a town in north east Romania, with some great hair pin bends.

The clip is promoting the FIL World Championship competition that is taking place at the moment from 2nd - 5th February.

Now wouldn't this be fun?

Thursday 2nd February

Longest Chain of sleds in Austria:

On 22nd January this year 508 sleds set a new world record for the longest chain of sleds.

They linked up the 508 sleds, which was around 750m long, and snaked down the snowy Austrian mountain.

The escapade took place at the Wildkogel Arena ski area in Austria.

The team earned an entry in the book of Guinness World Records.

Love the Mexican Wave at the end.

And for those who don't know.... the Wildkogel Arena is a 2,224m grass mountain in the Kitzbühel Alps in Oberpinzgau in Salzburg.

508 sleds snake down Austrian mountain508 sleds snake down Austrian mountain













Wednesday 1st February

Heroic action by Snowboarder saves the day:

A young snowboarder saves the day and averts an accident as he hurls himself onto an out of control snowmobile and manages to stop it.

The unmanned machine was hurtling down a ski slope in Turkey and it was speeding towards a busy T-bar.

The cameraman said the snowboarder had flown past hundreds of other skiers and snowboarders to catch up with the snowmobile and described his actions as “heroic”.

Snowboarder launches himself into unmanned snowmobile

























Getting granny on the snow:

Skiing holidays are a great experience for all the family, and now even an elderly granny can join in the winter fun.

With a little help from ES Adaptive a 90 year old granny who is partially blind and wheelchair bound was taken out on the snow in December last year and whizzed around the snowy mountain.

The adventure took place in Verbier with the assistance from European Snowsports, one of the resident ski schools in resort.

The granny, who is not named, was taken out in a specially designed sit-ski by Charlotte one of the ES Adaptive instructors.

And by all accounts she had a ball.

Adaptive skiing is often considered to be simply for the disabled, but here is a wonderful example of it being used for an elderly woman still looking for some spice in life.

For more information on the unnamed super gran and her super adventure see this article here.

#lovelife  #loveadventure

Super-fast, super-granny in Verbier with ES AdaptiveSuper-fast, super-granny in Verbier with ES Adaptive














Charlotte and Super GranCharlotte and Super Gran




















Backcountry Ski Courses in Tignes:

PlanetSKI reporter, Squash Falconer, is now helping to run backcountry ski courses in Tignes.

She has teamed up with  Floss from Freeflo for the Snow & Rock Freeflo Backcountry Ski Adventure Skills Course.

"We had an amazing week with fresh powder, great snow conditions, blue skies and a lovely group. We worked on avalanche safety, terrain selection, navigation, ski touring, skiing off piste and skills in the back country," said Squash.

Squash is based in Tignes and we last heard from her in the summer as she ski toured in the Arctic.

Squash FalconerSquash Falconer
















Oh and she has climbed Everest too - see here for a personal account of what it is like to summit the highest peak on the planet.

Squash FalconerSquash Falconer














To find out more about the course send an email to

To book or for any accommodation enquiries please contact Elena from skibug 

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.

PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news

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